4 Dead, 5 hospitalized in southern Ill. car crash - KMOV.com

4 Dead, 5 hospitalized in southern Ill. car crash

KEYESPORT, Ill. (AP) -- An early morning two-vehicle crash in southern Illinois left four people dead and five others injured, authorities said Sunday.

The crash happened just after midnight west of Keyesport, said Clinton County Sheriff Mike Kreke.

Three of the victims were in a 2004 Cadillac sport utility vehicle with four other people. The fourth deceased victim was one of two passengers in a 1996 Pontiac, authorities said.

A preliminary investigation showed the Pontiac was traveling northbound and the SUV was traveling west, Kreke said according to an e-mailed statement to The Associated Press late Sunday. He said the crash happened in a westbound lane.

Bond County Coroner Tony Brooks said three of the victims, who were 21, were pronounced dead at the scene. They had been ejected from their vehicles and died of blunt trauma. They were identified as Justin Haar of Beckemeyer, Blake Thole of Aviston and Chaz Sargent of East Carondelet.

Late Sunday, the Clinton County Sheriff's Office reported Sargent's age as 28. A message left for Brooks late Sunday was not immediately returned.

Derek Garrison, 21, of Germantown, was pronounced dead later at a St. Louis-area hospital, Brooks said.

Haar, Thole and Garrison were in the SUV. Sargent was traveling in the car, Brooks said.

"It's a sad situation," Brooks said.

Toxicology tests have been performed, but the results were not immediately available.

Authorities said the five injured people were sent to hospitals in Illinois and Missouri. All five remained hospitalized Sunday evening, Kreke said.

On Sunday, a beach towel and sandals were among the items strewn in a farm field next to the intersection where the crash happened.

Keyesport is near Carlyle Lake, about 50 miles east of St. Louis.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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